Politics

Senior Tory accuses Boris Johnson’s whips of ‘blackmail’ and demands MPs contact cops



A senior Tory MP has accused Boris Johnson’s lackeys of using blackmail and intimidation in an attempt to shore up the struggling Prime Minister.

William Wragg called on rebel Tories to go to the police over alleged threats from government whips that funding would be withdrawn from their constituencies if they moved against the Prime Minister by signing letters of no-confidence in Johnson.

Wragg, chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, spoke out against the tactics employed by government whips as splits and tensions in the Tory ranks over Johnson surfaced again.

He said: “Can I urge those targeted to contact the Speaker of the House of Commons and the commissioner of the Metropolitan police.”

Speaking at his committee meeting Wragg lifted the lid on the arm-twisting and intimidation being undertaken by government business managers in the Commons to dampen the Tory rebels.

He said: “It is of course the duty of the government whip’s office to secure the government’s business in the House of Commons.

“However, it is not their function to breach the ministerial code in threatening to withdraw investments for members of Parliament’s constituencies which are funded from the public purse.”

He added that spinning against rebel MPs by Downing St advisers and government ministers to provide material for embarrassing and hostile newspaper coverage was “simply unacceptable”.

“The intimidation of a Member of Parliament is a serious matter. Moreover, the reports of which I’m aware, would seem to constitute blackmail,” Wragg added.

“As such, it would be my general advice to colleagues to report these matters to the Speaker of the House of Commons and the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and they’re also welcome to contact me at any time.”

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Deputy Leader said: “The idea that areas of our country will be starved of funding because their MPs don’t fall into line to prop up this failing Prime Minister is disgusting.

“On the day Labour is setting out plans to deal with the cost of living crisis affecting the whole country, the Tory party continues to descend further into chaos of its own making. The country deserves better than this out of touch, out of control, out of ideas government.”

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